top of page

What is a bare root rose? 

A bare root rose is a dormant, harvested plant– meaning, they have been removed from the field in which they were growing, and are sold to customers with their roots exposed rather than planted in a pot. While they may look like nothing more than sticks at the time of purchasing, they are easier to transplant, less likely to suffer shock and are generally far cheaper than potted varieties available all year round.  But it does mean they need to be planted almost immediately after purchasing.

  1. Remove bare root rose from bag or pot, and clean all sawdust from roots.

  2. Prune root system back by around one third.

  3. Prepare a hole as deep and twice as wide as the rose.

  4. In the bottom of the hole, mound up soil.

  5. Place rose into hole, and gently spread roots over mound – this will improve drainage.

  6. Backfill hole, ensuring that the soil level is no higher than the graft or bud union.

  7. Firm in the soil.

  8. Prune top growth of rose by around a third to half which will ensure balanced root growth and healthy foliage.


Each rose is actually two separate plant parts – the rootstock and the scion or top stock.

  • Rootstock - the underground and root-forming part of the rose, generally selected for vigour and disease resistance. Are “de-eyed” to remove most growing buds before being planted to a depth of 3 inches, ready to graft onto by late Spring.

  • Scion - The “top section” of the plant, grafted onto the rootstock, that will eventually produce the foliage, stems and of course, the flowers.

bottom of page